The Words: 5442 written today and finished my novel! I was on such a roll last night that I just had to keep going. I put the final words in just before 5 a.m. I started with @NaNoWordSprints on Twitter, but the closer I got to the end, the more I just wanted to write and didn’t need the push of the word sprints. I am exhausted in so many ways right now. (I am writing this at 5 am, though I won’t post it until later this evening.)
I’m planning to write one more NaNoWriMo post before going back to posting about my revision work. Tomorrow, on the last day of the month, I want to sum up my experiences with NaNo this month.
The Story: Lex decided to take matters into his own hands and try to stop the battle quickly. He succeeded, somewhat, but it wasn’t a clean end exactly. Still, the battle was over, and now Lex and Leahna have to deal with the aftermath. Then there was a muchly summarized epilogue in which Lex gets some clues to get him back on track to solving the mystery of his father’s death.
Final word count: 107,234
The Words: 4462 written today and broke 100,000! After yesterday’s low number, and anticipating a very busy next two days (the last two days of NaNo), I made sure to really buckle down to write tonight. I did want to hit 100k, but I am still mostly intent on finishing the book. I am SO close. So close, in fact, that I didn’t realize that midnight had passed until it was 1 a.m. So I had to stop for a break and to write this up. Then I plan to get back to it tonight and maybe finish finally.
The Story: The battle in the desert is heating up. Two weeks have passed and the militia units that Lex and Leahna are helping are gaining a tiny bit of ground. Not literal ground, but they are systematically lowering the numbers of the enemy. When the second-in-command is taken prisoner, though, the leader demands immediate action. He knows that his second will be in grave danger if they don’t find him soon. So Lex decides to go inside the base himself and find a way to stop Rusalki, the leader of the mercenary organization.
Total word count: 101,792
The Words: 577 written today. My extended family isn’t having our official Thanksgiving get-together until Sunday, but we had an unofficial game night tonight. I didn’t know for sure if we were going to that until around 4, so I had expected to have some writing time in the afternoon. In an effort to avoid a zero day, I did get some words written while sitting at the table where people were playing games. My laptop died and I’d forgotten my charger, so I ended up having to switch to pencil and paper for half of it. I got very little done. But at least it’s not a 0.
The Story: The battle in the desert has taken a turn, with Lex and Leahna there to help. But it still doesn’t show signs of ending soon.
Total word count: 97,330
The Words: 2947 written today. I realized at the exact right time today that the weekly virtual write-in was starting. For the first few weeks, I was gone every Wednesday, and the weeks after that, I just kept forgetting. I got lucky today and joined in. I wrote 1900 during that, and the rest in the evening. I haven’t watched the videos for the other virtual write-ins, but I have to admit, the prompts weren’t the most helpful today. I know you don’t have to write with the prompts, but they intrigued me, so I did. Things like: What is your protaganist’s ideal ending? What would your antagonist be doing if they didn’t have anybody thwarting them, and if all their plans succeeded? I couldn’t help but want to explore those questions. But I’m close to the end of my novel, and just need to finish this battle scene!
The Story: I realized today that I forgot about the narrator this story is supposed to be have, and have written the entire book without him. Overall, that won’t make a huge difference, because the narrator is only in a small part of the book himself, so it will still mostly read as third-person. But this is still something I will have to remember during my early revising. And today’s writing is when he showed up in the story himself.
Total word count: 96,753
The Words: 2045 written today. I had to squeeze some in during the afternoon and then a bit more before we had another Skype meeting of the TCSTB (revising a novel I finished earlier this year). And I wanted to share this picture from the marathon meeting we had at the house of one of the TCSTB members on Saturday.
We acted out some fighting scenes to make sure they made sense in the text. The bear represents a large reptilian creature. The blanket on the floor is its victim, and the red is a sweatshirt that has been laid across the body to symbolize blood. This is before we rushed in to attack the reptile.
The Story: Lex and Leahna are continuing to help with the battle in the desert, and so much is happening, but I can’t really go into detail.
Total word count: 93,806
The Words: 2063 written today. Today’s writing put me past my total from last year, which was 90,228. Before that, I’d always written 50k within a few days from the end and that was it.
The Story: I have now decided that the decision I made yesterday about being done with the novel was wrong. I did glance at the beginning of this big battle scene from the original version and realized that the main characters are not doing the right thing yet to merge with that original version. So I do need to write a bit more to get my current story to a place where it matches up with that scene. (And for all I know, it will never actually flow into the other version, and I’ll rewrite it all anyway.) I thought it would be quick, but I should have known better.
Total word count: 91,761
The Words: 1957 written today. I have a feeling the rest of the month will be smaller numbers like this, or at least most of it. That is partly due to the fact that a lot of the excitement of the month has worn off, partly because I’ve been having a lot less chances to find writing time outside of the few hours in the evening, and partly because I have run out of anything to write. A friend of mine told me recently that that shouldn’t matter. He said, “Think stuff up. That’s what authors do.” He has a point, but I’m terrible at pantsing. Even if I found something to write through the end of the month, I doubt I’d be able to get nearly as many words per day as I was getting before.
The Story: I have officially decided to stop the story at the part where Lex and Leahna show up to help with the fighting in the desert. I think. I have written that whole battle scene before. See, technically, Pursuit of Power is a rewrite. I wrote a story set in what I would call a stepping-stone world I created with a friend, before I created the one my stories take place in now. I like the new one loads better. But enough of it was different that I had to do a complete rewrite on Lex’s story. The same basic elements are there–Lex and Leahna working together and becoming friends, Lex’s dad’s mysterious death that Lex has been seeking answers to, and the band of mercenaries in the desert causing trouble for Lex. So this scene was written, and I thought it came out very well. Only minor elements that are different from one world to the next would need to be changed, and I’m not sure it’s worth a rewrite. So I feel that writing it again now will be difficult, frustrating, and simply unnecessary. When I go back and read through the already-written scene after the month is over (I won’t let myself do it now, I think it will only slow me down), I may realize I’m wrong, and if so, I’ll rewrite it then. For now, though, I’m moving on. So today’s writing largely consisted of writing some more personal bits of Leahna’s life–her family, her work, etc., in order to flesh her character out. It won’t be directly included as-is, but I will hopefully find places to insert tidbits about her, or use it to know what kind of things are going on in her life while Lex is going through his ordeal. And now I would say I am officially done writing this book. My tentative plan for the rest of the month is to start writing what comes after the battle at the end of this story. Because really, Lex’s story is not over yet. He hasn’t solved the mystery of his dad’s death or uncovered the secrets about the Power that were hinted at in the letter he found. Or figured out who the mysterious people are that were mentioned in the letter. And I have no idea how any of that will come to be. But I know what will happen directly after this book ends, so I’ll start there.
Total word count: 89,698
The Words: 1919 written today, in the wee hours of the morning before I went to bed. I spent the rest of the day at my sister’s house, having a marathon meeting of the TCSTB (revising last year’s novel). Memorable quote from tonight’s meeting: “How are we supposed to help you stab a bear if we don’t know how power works?”
The Story: Lex and Leahna are traveling back to the desert to help the militias who have already been there for months, fighting what has turned out to be a large force of mercenaries. Rusalki, the leader, is not above using very unethical, illegal, and unnatural means to win the battle. Thus Lex and Leahna felt that their advanced abilities would be very helpful and even necessary, despite both being sought after by the authorities.
Total word count: 87,741
The Words: 2414 written today, over the course of a 30-minute and a 15-minute sprint. My writing time has really been limited lately. I’ll be gone literally all day tomorrow, so I plan to write 1500-2000 words for tomorrow before I go to bed here.
The Story: Lex, Leahna, and Glyn discussed the best way for them to be involved in the official operation to go and shut down the band of mercenaries that has attacked Lex and his loved ones multiple times now. Lex and Leahna are both now under suspicion of breaking some very important rules in their country, so they can’t being involved in the mission. That leaves only Glyn to help. And now Lex is taking a step back to look at everything that has happened, and feels the need to apologize to Leahna for dragging her into all of this so long ago, and basically ruining her life.
Total word count: 85,822
The Words: 2143 written today, all in the evening again. It wasn’t a spectacular day, but I had to write the aftermath of yesterday’s emotional, weepy scene. I’m past it now, so things should be easier tomorrow. Plus, I didn’t feel well today, so that didn’t help.
The Story: I stopped writing at the end of the sad scene, which was a mistake. I usually try to make sure I stop in the middle of a scene, paragraph, or even sentence. That way when I come back, I get right back into the flow. I didn’t even want to deal with the aftermath, but considered just moving on to the hurdle toward the end. But I did it, because I knew that I’d just have to deal with it later, and it would be better now, when I was still in the right mindset. Lex got his chance to really get scary, threatening to burn down all of the houses from that mercenary hideout, with all of the mercenaries still inside. Fortunately, he has loved ones who were able to talk him down. So now, they are waiting for the authorities in their country to investigate this band of mercenaries. Meanwhile, Glyn and Lex actually get back to the original quest, finding out what really happened to Lex’s dad. The only trouble is, that’s not really going to be wrapped up in this story. At all. In fact, the final scene coming up (which will be a long scene, set during a full-on battle out in the desert) will be the end of the story. Somehow I think this is going to be a problem for this book.
Total word count: 83,408